Pane, Amore E Fantasia (aka Bread, Love And Dreams) (1953)
In a small Italian village up in the mountains, a marshal (Vittorio De Sica) becomes infatuated with the prettiest girl (Gina Lollobrigida) in town but she has her heart set on the marshal's subordinate (Roberto Risso). This comedy was extremely admired in its day and spawned two sequels. Luigi Comencini won the best director award at the Berlin film festival and the film's screenplay by Ettore Maria Margadonna was nominated for an Oscar. Seen today, it's an innocuous enough romantic comedy but the bubbles have evaporated. After awhile, it becomes rather tedious as De Sica leches after Lollobrigida while she dodges him at every turn. Although De Sica is top billed, the film belongs to Lollobrigida who is more earthy and natural here than her later glamorous film image. With Marisa Merlini, Virgilio Riento, Tina Pica and Maria Pia Casilio (UMBERTO D).